On June 30, 2022, Maryland hosted for the first time ever the First Statewide Meeting for Latin Health Promoters and it was sponsored by the City of Annapolis. The activity, held outdoors at Maryland Hall, was led by Laura Gutierrez, founder of the MALVEC coalition and Kelly Umaña, MALVEC partner and field coordinator.
The purpose of the event was to facilitate a live meeting between the health promoters who participated virtually in the 6-month training on conceptual foundations and digital tools for health promoters in Maryland. The event commemorated the closing of the workshop and provided a space for professional socialization to strengthen health promoter networks in the state. Medical leaders and professionals from the University of Maryland, Luminis Health, Maryland Physicians Network, Chase Braxton, NGOs and local governments, among others, also came to the event to meet and recognize these “power players”.
“We’re opening doors by closing a cycle,”said Laura Gutierrez. “After six months together in trainings, we now have the opportunity to get to know each other, form new bonds with other professionals and explore new opportunities to project our work in favor of the well-being of our community. The idea is that this is just a beginning and that we can continue to grow and strengthen together. unity is strength!”
“Promotores are at the core of health equity in the Latino community. Together we are generating a platform to amplify our voices and improve the health of Latinos through a lens of equity.” said Kelly Umaña.
Mayor Gavin Buckley expressed that the work of the promotoras and promotores de salud is a source of pride for the city. “There would not have been as much success in vaccinating Latino residents without their work.” State Delegate Dana Jones shared that health promoters are the “angels who walk among us” reflecting disinterest in being recognized or flattered. “They did this work day and night to support their community during COVID-19.” The two stated that, without these developers, the City of Annapolis and the State would not be in the improved condition in which they are today.
Through WhatsApp groups, Laura and Kelly’s work will continue to support these networks to ensure that our Latino community is represented in every corner of Maryland. The work does not stop here. The promoters continue to work in the regions of Maryland where they are located to get to know the communities even better and provide them with better service.
Those attending the meeting were able to enjoy a breakfast prepared by the restaurant Mi Lindo Cancun Grill.
To see photos of the event, please visit our Google Folder